Papaya, alternatively known as pawpaw, papaw and tree melon in Australia, Thailand and Europe respectively is a sweet, musky and soft fruit. The thick orange or yellow peel is not edible.

Wonder food papaya

Papaya (Image Courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos)

The papaya contains tiny black seeds in the core which are edible although they lend a bitter taste. Papaya fruit is rich in the enzyme papain which is employed in the manufacture of digestive enzymes and dietary supplements.

Nutrient Content

Papayas are rich in the following key nutrients:

  • Vitamin – Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and folate.
  • Phytonutrients such as lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin.
  • Minerals – potassium, calcium and magnesium.
  • Enzyme called papain

Health Benefits

The following are the health benefits offered by papaya:

  • Papaya protects against heart disease.
  • Nutrients in papaya prevent the oxidation of cholesterol thereby preventing its deposition in bloodstreams.
  • Papaya prevents the incidence of colon cancer.
  • Papain which is a protein digesting enzyme has anti inflammatory properties
  • By strengthening the immune system, papaya, helps prevent infections, cold and flu.
  • The vitamin content in papaya prevents the onset of macular degeneration and protects eyesight.
  • Papaya in combination with green tea has shown to be useful in preventing prostate cancer.
  • The vitamin C content in papaya helps in the prevention of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Papaya helps regulate menstruation cycle in women.
  • Papaya seeds are effective in the elimination of worms from the intestine.

Any advice or information provided in this page should not be seen as a substitute for medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. Your family physician knows better about your medical history and only they can provide you with personalized advice keeping in mind your unique needs.